Immigration Justice Update: Good News and More

Amidst the pandemic, our friends at the southern border continue their work to release from detention those who are seeking asylum.
On Tuesday April 7th, one such person, a transgender woman from Honduras, landed at the Des Moines airport. She was met by our Board President Sue Huber (who happens to be fluent in Spanish), and her new sponsors, members Lisa and Megan Irey.
She was able to move out of detention in record time because members of our church raised her bond money – $2,500.00 – in less than 24 hours.
Even in a pandemic, First Unitarian works for justice!
For over a year and a half, First Unitarian has worked with the Iowa Sanctuary Movement to raise and disburse funds to support asylum seekers in Central Iowa. They are currently helping to support 5 adults and 9 children. The fund for this support is held at our church, and ongoing contributions are always needed. Recurring gifts, of any amount, help make it easier to plan for future expenses.
The fund held by ISM is not enough to cover all the expenses of those seeking asylum, and they are currently at capacity.  Recently, one of the women, sponsored by our members Michael and Karen Lauer, lost her job due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The availability of ISM funds to help her is a critical need as unemployment benefits are currently delayed and uncertain.
The Immigration Justice team of First Unitarian has made a commitment to both support ISM and to support the Irey’s effort. To do this, we need YOU.
Here’s how:
If you can, please give to the ISM Asylum Seekers Fund to support the ongoing support of the families being funded by ISM. If you are currently giving to this fund, please continue! PLEASE do not move your funding to #2 below.
  1. If you can, please give to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund (MDF). Rev. Amy has offered to use this fund to hold monies we raise to support the Irey’s asylum seeker. We will track these funds and report on them to the congregation as we go. So far, we have raised $2,908 and spent $2,500 for bond. As our seeker will not have permission to work for AT LEAST 6 months, we’ll need to raise ongoing funds.
  1. You can give to both funds via the church website ( – click on Give, then select ISM Asylum Seekers Fund or Ministers Discretionary Fund), or you can send a check to church with a note in the memo line to indicate which fund(s) you are supporting.
In this time, when so much is uncertain, we are especially appreciative of your willingness to support asylum efforts. Every dollar helps secure a brighter future for these new Iowans. THANK YOU!